Friday, January 25, 2013

(Daily) Five for Friday

                                             I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching
                           to post a few random pictures from this week in my kindergarten.

 1. The Daily 5 routines are making life so much easier for me!  I have about a half dozen laundry baskets that help them choose a good location and stay in one spot to read -- they have built a lot of stamina by now so I can work with reading/intervention groups for a good chunk of time.

2. I am finally getting the Word Work activities going -- with some independent work.  These girls are spelling their sight words with wikki stix.

3. I made a "BAM " game for each child with their individual sight words.  These 2 are playing the game -- much more fun than flash cards!  They also take the cards home to play with their parents, hopefully.

4.  Some of my kinders discovered my stash of "How to Draw" books, and have really enjoyed learning to draw pictures on their own.  This week I asked them to write a sentence or two about the picture they drew -- The Work on Writing piece of Daily 5 is now in session.  I especially love the fact that they took the initiative to start working on this without my instruction.

5. We celebrated the 100th day this week, and I made 100 pancakes, just like the wolf in "The Wolf's Chicken Stew." They loved the book -- and the pancakes!

We had an icy weather event this morning -- school was cancelled at the last minute and we were all sent home.  I got back home at 8:45 this morning -- best "snow day" ever!  Gave me time to work on school stuff and actually cook a Pinterest inspired supper, and still have time for a long nap!

Doodle Bugs Teaching

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

100 Days of Kindergarten

 One hundred days -- Hooray!! What fun we had celebrating today! It was fun to take a day off from the regular routine and celebrate our accomplishments.  Look at some of the great collections they brought it this year.

                                 We made hats -- the girls were happy to model their creations.
                                          Something new this year -- building with 100 red solo cups.
                                         This was my favorite activity -- lots of belly laughs!
                                          And our other favorite part -- a 100 piece snack!

        We ran out of time -- and no one was very hungry after all that, so we will save the 100 pancakes until tomorrow.  I read "The Wolf''s Chicken Stew" and we made a connection to the "Three Pigs"and expanded vocabulary to include "craving" and "scrumptious" -- and they burst into spontaneous applause at the end of the story.
      Now tell me -- in how many professions -- other than acting and professional sports -- can you get applause on a regular basis?  I love my job!!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Going and Going!

 Another week of trying to do assessments every time I can squeeze them in -- I am about tired of doing assessments!!  I just want to teach!  But they have to be done by the 25th, so the end is in sight!!
  Today I called a little boy over to do the reading assessment, and he took a look at the book and said, "I can't do it'"  After words of encouragement he started, then picked up speed as he realized that he COULD do it.  He spread his arms and said "I don't know what happened -- but I can go and go!!" I explained that it was a good fit book -- and that he should always choose good fit books !  I love it when it clicks for a kid -- and they realize that they can go and go -- and read!
   The 100th day of school celebration has been moved from Tuesday to Wednesday, since we had a snow day today. That's really good news for me, because my assistant, "Mrs. Awesome", has an appointment and wasn't going to be there that day. The bad news is that we have to go to school on Saturday to make up the snow day -- major bummer!!
   Anyway, I've been thinking about all the things we have done in the past -- and eliminating some because it's just too hard with 26 kids.  We have the hats ready -- I borrowed this picture from Pinterest since I forgot to take a picture of mine.  "Mrs. Awesome" made them.

 I have my copy of my favorite 100 day book -- The Wolf's Chicken Stew.  It's about a wolf who is trying to fatten up a chicken by feeding her 100 treats every day.  I plan to take my griddle and make 100 mini pancakes to feed my little chicks.  They always LOVE that.

  And of course, I will read Miss Bindergarten Celebrates the 100th Day. 
   And, like the book, we will make a paper chain with 100 links, build things with 100 blocks or Legos, and write about what we would buy with $100.  We will probably hunt for 100 chocolate kisses to put on the 100 chart and write numbers to 100.  And I will check out the ideas I have on my Pinterest board and look at TPT for some fresh ideas.  But that is part of the fun with kindergarten -- ALL the ideas are new to them!
   And after all the fun -- there are only 80 days left to get ready for first grade!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

I'm On My Way

    "Got a dream, got a song..."  that song has been echoing in my head today as I think about going back for the second semester of kindergarten.  Another part of the song says, "When will we be there?  I don't know... all I know is I am on my way!" It's the time of year when I usually see so much growth in reading and writing.  My goal is always to get every child to "benchmark" -- that magic score that means they are on track for first grade.  When will we be there?  I don't know. But as I am getting report cards ready, I am seeing signs that we really are on the way!!
    (As a barbershop singer, most of the songs in my head are in 4-part harmony, barbershop style -- here's what this one sounds like.)

    "Got a dream" also reminds me of all that we need to squeeze in this month.  The 100th day and the celebration of the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. both come at the same time.  I always do my favorite unit about penguins in January, too.  We also have a field trip next week,  and DIBELS assessments that have to be done by Jan. 25. I'm starting to feel a little stressed!

   I was reminded by Kelly Mikesell in her post today about the importance of reviewing all the procedures and routines -- so add that to the plans for Monday. I really want to get my Daily 5 up and running again, and I plan to get the "Read to Someone" part working better by teaching the

"Powerful Partnership" guided reading unit I bought from TPT.  I have been blessed with a partnership with some 2nd grade reading buddies this year, and I want to teach them how to talk about the books they read with their buddy -- thanks to common core requirements, they need to be able to do more than just read fluently and accurately, but also "with prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text."
    I've got a dream -- a dream that everyone will come back ready to learn -- and listen -- and that I will be able to see great progress.  I hope it is more than just a dream!!